May 13 2019

Although not listed, as such, on the agenda, the public will have a right to address the Council at their two meetings agendized for interviews and selection of Piedmont’s new City Administrator. The Council will adjourn to Closed Sessions after hearing from any public speakers addressing the appointment.  

Public discussions have not been held at Council meetings regarding the qualifications of a new City Administrator, who will be replacing retiring City Administrator Paul Benoit.  Voters recently approved Piedmont City Charter change  providing the City Administrator with sole authority over retention of Piedmont employees including the Police Chief, Fire Chief, Finance Director, Public Works Director, etc.

Special City Council Meetings

Thursday, May 16, 2019 8:15 a.m. 

Friday, May 17, 2019 11:30 a.m.

City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA


Call to Order
Adjourn to a Closed Session in the Conference Room

a. Public Employee Appointment – Interview of Applicants (Government Code Sec. 54957) Title: City Administrator

For additional information, contact the Piedmont City Clerk at 420-3040.

May 12 2019

On Saturday, May 18, at 10:00 a.m., the Public Works Department will host a walk on Magnolia Avenue to discuss the 47 liquidambar trees which are slated to be removed as a part of the 2018 Pavement Project.

The walk will begin at 10:00 am at the intersection of Hillside and Magnolia Avenues and will move down the length of the street. Neighbors and interested residents are invited to attend and join in conversation with city staff, the City Engineer, and the independent arborist who evaluated the trees.

When approving the 2018 Pavement Project, the City Council directed staff to, “…work with neighbors on Magnolia Avenue who are impacted by street tree removal to consider whether engineering and/or other accommodations can be made to preserve additional trees on this street.” This walk-through is being conducted to provide neighbors with an opportunity to share their feedback, which will be reviewed by staff and the City Engineer.

Below is a plan that identifies the trees reviewed in the arborist report and the trees proposed to be removed. 

For further information, contact Director of Public Works Chester Nakahara at 420-3061 or via email at


READ the detailed staff and Arborist report on tree removal for Magnolia Avenue by clicking below:

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May 12 2019

Recreation Commission Meeting Agenda Wednesday, May 15, 2019 7:30 p.m.

Open to the public and broadcast live.

City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA

  1. Approval of Minutes – April 25, 2019
  2. Chair’s Report
  3. Director’s Report
  4. Report from Subcommittee on Skateboarding and Scootering
  5. Update on PMS PE Court Renovation Project
  6. Update on Recreation Center Tennis Court Renovations and PRFO Fundraising
  7. Update on Capital Improvement Projects Review Committee (CIP)
  8. Update on City Website
  9. Betty C. Howard Award – June 4th 6:30pm


May 12 2019

Tuesday                  10:00 to 12:30  Linda-Beach tennis courts

Wednesday             12:30 to 3:00   Hampton tennis courts 

Thursday                10:00 to 12:30  Linda-Beach tennis courts

Friday                     12:30 to 3:00   Hampton tennis courts

Saturdays               10am – 1pm at the Piedmont Middle School (PMS) badminton courts
  (PMS requires registration + $25 fee to May 25.  Call PRD at 420-3070)

Sunday                   2:00 to 4:00   Linda-Beach tennis courts 

– Piedmont Rec Dept staff will set up/tear down nets.
– Play must stop at the times indicated.  
– Be sure to use only Rec Dept approved paddles and the City supplied Onix type balls. Do not use hard Dura-fast type balls. 
– Paddles are provided for beginners as well as an introduction to the game. 
– The Hampton Courts are in excellent condition, the Linda-Beach Courts are in very good condition and the PMS asphalt courts have multiple issues.
– Always yell “Ball on” if a ball enters your court or you hit into another court. Stop play and return the ball. Safety first. 

There is no fee required except for Saturdays at the Middle School. Email to be added to the Piedmont pickleball google group.

For additional information, contact the Piedmont Recreation Department at 420 – 3070.

May 10 2019

CIP Recommendations: Yes to improvements for Piedmont Middle School courts for pickleball usage, license plate readers at all Piedmont entrances, drinking fountain in Piedmont Main Park for dogs and people – No to Blair Park and Witter Field improvements. 

The CIP Review Committee recommendations will be discussed as part of the Piedmont Proposed FY 19-20 Budget Presentation and Workshop Saturday, May 11,  9 am Piedmont Police Department Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

CIP Review Committee recommendations with respect to the 9 new 2019-20 resident proposals can be summarized as follows:

The following 3 proposals can move forward with City Council support:

-Renovation of PMS Hard-courts
-Installation of ALPRs at Piedmont Entrances
-Installation of a drinking fountain (for humans and dogs) in Piedmont Park

The following 3 proposals are recommended as meritorious but requiring additional study from public safety and/or public works:

-Two related Wildwood Gardens proposals
-Development of a landscape triangle at Blair and Calvert Court

The following 3 proposals are determined to need direction from City Council:

 – Blair Park proposals for donated fencing and parking improvements

 – Two related Witter Field proposals

READ the agenda below for the Council Budget Work Session when the Council will consider all CIP proposals and department budgets:

READ the full CIP Review Report for 2019 below:

CIPreviewreport 2019

Minutes, broadcasts, and recordings were not made of any of the CIP Review meetings.  Staff reports were not publicized. 

Recordings and broadcast will not be made of the Saturday, May 11, 2019 Council Budget Workshop held at 403 Highland Avenue in the Emergency Operations Center of the Piedmont Police Department.  The public is welcome to attend and participate.


READ the full staff 2019-20 Budget recommendations including fees, permits, salaries, benefits, use of City property, tax rates, personnel, etc. –

May 7 2019

Piedmont Proposed FY 19-20 Budget Presentation and Workshop Saturday, May 11,  9 am Piedmont Police Department Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

Those interested in participating in City of Piedmont expenditures, taxation, and priorities should find the less formal Budget Workshop meeting informative and an opportunity.  The Workshop is where the work is largely done.  Public participation is allowed.  The Workshop will not be broadcast or recorded making physical presence a necessity to hear first hand the discussions. 

Proposed budget and the levy of the Municipal Services Tax and the Sewer Tax. 

The Saturday Work Session will be held in the Police Department EOC – 403 Highland Avenue on May 11, 2019 beginning at 9 am.

At the workshop, the City Administrator and Department Heads will present their proposed budgets for the coming fiscal year starting on July 1, 2019. The public and Council can ask questions and present ideas regarding proposals.

The Piedmont City Council will consider the proposed annual budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 at three separate meetings.  The first is the Budget Workshop on May 11 when most questions and issues are resolved prior to formal budget consideration at the two following Public Hearings regarding the proposed budget and the levy of the Municipal Services Tax and the Sewer Tax.

Two Public Hearings will be held during regularly scheduled City Council meetings on May 20 and June 3, 2019.  Many times there is little discussion on the budget at the Public Hearings. The regular Council meetings will be broadcast and recorded.

The public is invited to attend these meetings and speak to the City Council about spending priorities for the city in the coming year.  Click to visit the 2019-2020 Proposed Budget page, where all sections of the budget are available for download.

For questions on contents of the budget, please contact Finance Director Michael Szczech via email at or by phone at (510) 420-3045.

If you wish to write to the Council regarding the budget, please send an e-mail to the City Council at or send a letter via U.S. Mail to Piedmont City Council, c/o City Clerk’s Office, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, 94611.

May 7 2019

Residents and property owners are not aware of  what is being changed – added or removed – in the newly proposed Design Guidelines for Piedmont.

Most Piedmonters are not aware of changes impacting all Piedmonters to be made for buildings and landscaping through Design Guidelines currently under consideration by the Piedmont Planning Commission and soon by the Piedmont City Council.  Concern has been expressed that there is no executive summary provided covering the numerous pages of the proposed Design Guidelines for easy understanding by the public of the changes. 

In November 2018 the City asked those who have filed Design Review applications during the previous two years to answer questions via an electronic survey.  The questions were answered by 103 homeowners, 44 architects, 23 contractors, and 27 other persons with 88 percent indicating their project had been approved.

The following is an excerpt from a staff report presented to the Planning Commission demonstrating that neighbors and neighborhoods impacted by changes to buildings, homes, apartments, and commercial sites were not consulted during the process.  Proponents of projects, architects, certain property owners, and contractors were invited to provide feedback. The meetings formulating the proposals were for selected individuals “stakeholders,” and closed to the public. 

From the Planning Department staff report: 


The City consulted with a range of stakeholders as part of the Design Guidelines update. In September 2018, staff and the consulting team interviewed Gail Lombardy of the Piedmont Historical Society to discuss the effectiveness of the existing Guidelines in preserving the character of Piedmont’s older homes.

On September 25, 2018, the City facilitated a discussion of the existing Design Guidelines and Design Review process with five local architects. Feedback from these meetings was incorporated into the Draft Guidelines. An informational item on the Design Guidelines, including an opportunity for public comment, was presented to the Planning Commission on September 10, 2018.

In late November 2018, the City emailed a letter with a link to an electronic survey to about 700 Piedmont households (roughly 18 percent of the city). A number of local architects and contractors also received the letter.

The survey was not made public. 

Recipients included all households who had filed an application for Design Review between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018. There were 162 surveys completed, equivalent to a response rate of 23 percent.

Survey respondents included 103 homeowners, 44 architects, 23 contractors, and 27 persons answering “more than one of the above” or “other.” About 88 percent indicated their project had been approved, including 27 percent with “minor” changes and 6 percent with “major” changes. Some 62 percent of the respondents indicated their projects were now completed, 20 percent had projects under construction, and 18 percent did not build the project or answered “other.”

Key findings of the survey were as follows:

 Respondents had generally positive experiences with City staff during Design Review. 48 percent described their experience as “excellent” and 35 percent described their experience as “good.” Only 8 percent reported their experience to be “poor.”

 76 percent of the respondents indicated they consulted the Design Guidelines as part of the Design Review process. Of this total, 31 percent found the Guidelines to be “extremely clear” and 54 percent found them to be “somewhat clear.”

 Only 7 percent of the respondents felt that the design suggestions provided by staff were “not constructive.”

 More than two thirds of the respondents rated their Design Review experience with the Planning Commission as “good” or “excellent.” About 13 percent rated their experience as “poor.” About 31 percent of the respondents felt their project had been improved as a result of the Design Review process.

 Respondents were asked to rate a series of design factors on a 4 point interval scale (not a concern, slight concern, moderate concern, major concern). The factors identified as being the greatest concerns were preserving views, preserving the historic character of Piedmont homes, homes that appeared too large for the lot, and preserving side and rear yard privacy. The factors identified as being less of a concern were retaining walls, fences and walls in front yards, and the siting and design of carports.

 About 35 percent of the respondents felt the City’s Design Review requirements were “too strict,” while only one percent felt they were “not strict enough.” Just over 50 percent of the respondents felt the requirements were “about right.”

Consideration of Design Guidelines by Planning Commission is on Monday, May 13th, 5 pm Planning Commission meeting at City Hall.  The meeting will be broadcast on Cable Channel 27 and from the City of Piedmont website under videos/ Planning Commission.

READ the staff information below >


May 7 2019

Planning Commission to Consider Design Guidelines Update
Monday, May 13, 2019 – Discussion and Recommendation


Receipt of a draft update of the City of Piedmont Design Guidelines, an informational report from the City’s consultant regarding the draft update, and a recommendation from staff that the Commission recommend the City Council approve the Guidelines. This agenda item is continued from the Commission’s meeting on April 8, 2019, and includes an opportunity for public comment and Commissioner discussion.

City Press Release Contact: Kevin Jackson, Planning Director

Planning Commission to Consider Design Guidelines Update Monday, May 13, 2019 – Discussion and Recommendation

At its meeting on May 13th, the Planning Commission will consider updates to the city’s Design Guidelines, which provide a framework for actions of staff and the Planning Commission in making decisions regarding Planning Applications from residents. The draft Design Guidelines were introduced at the April 8th meeting, during which staff answered questions, the public provided feedback, the Planning Commission discussed the proposal and then voted to continue its discussion to its net regular meeting scheduled for May 13th. During this meeting, the Commission will take additional testimony from the public, continue its discussion, and consider a recommendation to the City Council.


This project to update and reformat the City of Piedmont Design Guidelines is the fifth and final phase of policy updates undertaken in response to the adoption of the General Plan in 2009 and the Housing Element in 2011. The first four phases were related to revisions of City Code Chapter 17 (the Zoning Ordinance) and were completed between 2012 and 2017. Specifically, Action 28.E in the Design and Preservation Element of the 2009 General Plan calls for the City’s Design Guidelines to be updated.

Draft updated Design Guidelines

In addition to updating and reformatting the guidelines for single-family residential construction, the draft update includes new guidelines for multi-family residential construction, commercial and mixed-use construction commercial signage, and landscaping. A chapter that include design guidelines for wireless communication facilities will be added at a future date. In addition to the link above to the electronic copy of the draft Guidelines, print copies are available for viewing at Piedmont City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.

The draft Design Guidelines are available online at

printed copies are available for viewing at the Public Works counter in City Hall.

City Council to Consider Adoption

The Planning Commission’s recommendation concerning the draft Design Guidelines will be forwarded to the City Council for its consideration, as it is the decision making body for this matter. The date of Council consideration will be publicized well in advance of the meeting.

Public Engagement

Public comment is invited throughout the process. Interested members of the public are encouraged to read the draft Design Guidelines and staff report, and attend the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 13, 2019 in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.

Written comments and requests to receive email notification of activities related to the Design Guidelines update should be sent to Planning Director Kevin Jackson at Comments on paper can also be submitted by hand or by mail to the Piedmont Planning Commission, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611.

May 6 2019


Two parcel tax measures: one for each separate parcel and a second measure, an additional add on tax based on square footage of each Piedmont building including single family residences. See full report linked below.

The School Board will discuss potential School District parcel tax measures at their Wednesday, May 8, 2019 Board Meeting in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.  The meeting will be broadcast live on cable Channel 27 and the Piedmont website under videos/school board. The tax measure agenda item is set for 8:40 p.m.

  1. Recommendation for 2 Measures on the November 2019 Ballot 

Given the recent poll results and Piedmont’s current educational needs, District staff recommends that the Board of Education consider asking voters to support the renewal of its existing parcel tax to maintain current programs at the $2,656 flat rate (“Measure A”) and in a separate measure (“Measure B”) asking voters for an additional amount ($0.25 per building square foot) to ensure that Piedmont schools will be better able to attract and retain qualified teachers and staff.  Renewing the existing parcel tax (“Measure A”) would secure, $10.5 million in revenues. Measure A is a continuation, no tax increase measure. We would also recommend an 8-year “duration” of the tax to provide a stable ongoing source of revenue to the District and fulfill the description as a pure continuation of what is in place today.  Additionally, we recommend that a second measure (“Measure B”) be placed on the ballot. This second measure would be set at $0.25 per building square foot and would also have an 8-year duration.

Passage of Measure B would result in an additional $2.6 million to the Piedmont schools. Importantly, the entire community would share the burden of an increased tax (although larger properties would pay more and smaller properties less – $139 per year for the smallest residential parcel). An added benefit is that if this tax were challenged from a legal standpoint, only the supplemental tax would be at legal risk.

If both measures pass, the smallest square foot homeowner would pay $2,795 per year, and the largest square foot homeowner would pay $6,568 per year. Together, both measures would raise $13.1 million.

Read the full staff report on the tax measures: > VII_C_BackgroundSchoolSupportTax_0

Read the full May 8 School Board Agenda >

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May 6 2019

RECOMMENDATION: District staff requests that the Board accept the Department of Justice Tobacco Cessation Grant to address student use, exposure, and perceived harm of controlled substances (e.g. alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes).

“This specially trained officer (Juvenile Officer) will partner with PUSD to collaboratively conduct student and parent education classes on the harms of tobacco use and develop a Diversion Program for youth who are detected using tobacco products.

Finally, the Juvenile Officer will work with the PUSD to identify and implement tobacco/vaping mitigation strategies. Additionally, with the support of the Dept. of Justice Tobacco Cessation Grant, PUSD staff has developed goals and actions to help mitigate controlled substance use (e-cigarettes, drugs, alcohol)”:

Read full report below: 


Read the full May 8 School Board Agenda:

The May 8th Piedmont School Board meeting will be held at 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, City Hall.  The Grant will be considered at 8:10 p.m. and broadcast live on cable Channel 27 and also on the City of Piedmont website under videos/school board. 

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